After spending eight precious years as an IT professional, I personally feel quite qualified enough to depict the way IT professionals carry themselves in India and the way society look at them. To start with the topic I have to go back to the time when I stepped in to the industry in 2007. It was monsoon and the place was Mumbai-the land of dreams in India. 6th of Aug was the date for me and many others like me to begin the journey(much lesser known fact was that we all were destined to disappear in the white collered crowd except few, who chose to step down from the industry at later stage).
Life is a series of experiences and trust me that first day at 3i InfoTech Ltd., Vashi was itself an experience to share about. Meeting new people , HR persons, getting Bank Account Kit, food coupons and on top of that 3 months stay at a luxurious hotel Center Point at Turbhe Naka(we struggled everyday as no autowala wanted to go over there for whatsoever reasons). All of us were genuinely happy and the happiness was beneath all of us. Then we all became friends which added more flavor to our lives and till this date that Mumbai chapter is considered to be the most memorable chapter among all those who were the part of it.
Then our technical training started and a very gentle and pretty lady named Nisha Kothari was assigned to train all of us on C and C++ programming. I bet none of us might have enjoyed studying that much throughout our academics the way we enjoyed there. Our trainer was beautiful both internally and externally and her explanatory power as a faculty was outstanding. We enjoyed the classroom training along with the tea and sutta breaks. Food was awesome in the canteen(I never had such a tasty canteen food in any of my jobs at further stage).
Over the weekends in those 3 months we explored Mumbai like there was no tomorrow. We went to Haji Ali, Mahalakshmi Temple, Gateway of India, Siddhi Vinayak, Essel World, Shirdih, Movies and whatever you can think of in Mumbai. I never enjoyed any other city the way I enjoyed Mumbai in those days. I met some of the most fantastic people in my life like Rahul, Piyush , Manish, Mohsin, Vaishnavi and many others(naming all of them in this blog would be difficult).
Coming back to our hotel stay!! As I already mentioned that we were given with a very luxurious hotel which was having nice service, nice furniture , air conditioner, television , great bathroom and the best part was the restaurant at the top floor- Kaake The Dhaba!! It was an icing on the cake. I was personally blessed to have two fantastic room partners at that time named Ravi and Vinay as we had a perfect tuning to each other. All three of us were smokers at that time 🙂 . In fact passionate smokers !!
Past one month we all got our first salary which was around Rupees 14000(only for 24 days) and trust me that amount made me feel so rich and prosperous at that time as if I was able to purchase entire Mumbai. Truly speaking my current salary like most of my friends is good enough to bring smile over many faces but that first salary of Rupees 14000 had given a personal satisfaction and happiness. It might have given the feeling of confidence about one’s being worth of something that never came during our academics.
Training for C and C++ was over and then we had been assigned to another fantastic trainers Prabhat Sir and Saroj Sir. Both of them were from Orissa and so had funny accent while speaking Hindi. I am sure most of my friends who gone through that training might be agreeing to me that those two faculties had actually kept the foundation for our careers in IT industry. I still remember the words by Saroj Sir on our last day of the training at Mumbai ‘Your life starts from here!!’ . Next day we all left for Chennai which was very scary for first few days or rather months.
We all were separated and were assigned to different projects and so our comfort was taken away. Only relief to me was Ravi and Vinay still continuing as my flat partners and Rahul standing like Rahul Dravid in our lives. I remember that day when Vinay was laid off from 3i InfoTech just 2 days before Diwali in 2008. Me and Ravi felt so heart broken that we were not able to speak for few minutes. In Aug,2009 I was also shown a kind of pink slip but it was less tragic as the recession was over and somehow it was managed. Bravery coming out of helplessness turns out to be the best thing in such moments.
We argued, fought and released our frustration on each other unnecessarily many times but it was just the togetherness that we had in those scary days of recession. Life has made all of us as big monsters in this industry after 8 years but those days of innocence in Mumbai and Chennai will always bring smile over the faces. Today Vinay is an assistant commissioner, Manish Sinha is an officer of BSNL, Rahul is in Coal India Ltd. and rest all of us are still digging deeper into the IT industry.
Time has changed and so is the industry which is becoming more as a symbol of mediocrity day by day. 8 years back the industry was full of positive challenges and substance to that extent where showbiz was acceptable, but today showbiz is still there but there is no substance and that makes the industry pathetic. Only charm left is the onsite trip and the dollar earning to buy a flat or to repay the home loan. I have been to America and stayed for 2 years and end of the day I realize that we Indians are not only financially poor, we are poor at everything.
Our parents think that we are engineers and we do big things at work and that’s why we get paid very well, but in reality we actually do nothing. In one of the survey report it was mentioned that in IT industry only 35% people get paid well based on their knowledge and skill. Rest 65% are highly paid because of their personality and verbal abilities. This has led to a positive change for youngster pursuing entrepreneurship in IT industry over the job. I am not sure how great the IT industry will offer a noble career to the coming generation, but for us time has come to give a thought whether to continue with the mediocrity or to pursue an excellence.